After escaping from a slave ship, the half-orc Nergal swims to shore, eager to begin his new life of freedom. When he meets a band of heroes including an elf, a beautiful warrior-priestess, and two brave knights, he isn't looking for an adventure-he's just looking for an easy meal!
But the impressionable young Nergal soon begins to feel a kinship with these heroes who are on an important mission to an abandoned castle. Dark forces are marshalling against them, and Nergal is viewed as an asset in the quest to stop the evil threatening their kingdom. He joins these unlikely companions, even though he believes that if his brutal past becomes known, his heroic friends will not hesitate to destroy him.
As he grows into a mighty force for good, Nergal must hide his past. He becomes drawn into a struggle between nations and hunts for a monk-wizard who creates deadly monsters to aid the cause of an ancient sect's draconian rule over other peoples. Nergal's adventures take him to lands unknown where he will face challenges greater than he anticipated. But when the smoke clears, there will be no doubts as to Nergal's true nature.